On the last weekend in June, 2008, SAR kennels sold me a sick, parasite infested dog which they claimed was in good health. I purchased the dog for $225. The seller indicated that the dog was in good health and to contact the owner if there were any problems. The seller stated that the owner was 'really good' about working with folks if anything was wrong with the dogs.
Immediately after purchasing the puppy, it expelled diarrhea in the parking lot. At the time I did not believe the seller to be deceptive and simply thought the diarrhea was from puppy anxiety. Prior to taking the puppy home, I also noticed a considerable rash on its belly. Upon taking the puppy home, I observed the puppy's stool continued to remain loose and discolored which indicated that the diarrhea was more than just puppy nerves.
On the following Monday, I contacted the Animal Hospital for an exam. They scheduled the exam for the next day as the earliest they could do the exam. The exam revealed that the dog was sick and required treatment. The puppy had an intestinal disease at the time of purchase. The dog required treatment and additional follow-up. The dog also had a foul odor to the face that was noticeable prior to me taking the dog home, which turned out to be an ear infection that had gone untreated. The rash turned out to be from probable ant -bites which fortunately were minor, but adding the pieces together, it is apparent that this dog was not taken care of and not in good health at time of purchase.
I contacted the phone-number provided on the receipt per the seller's instructions. The person who answered identified herself as Sandy. I informed Sandy that the dog I purchased was sick at the time of purchase. Sandy immediately became agitated and responded tersely, ''What do you want me to do?'' Apparently this was a rhetorical question because she hung up on me when I attempted to discuss this with her.
Throughout the brief conversation, I was very polite, even-toned and professional. Sandy was rude and unwilling to listen to my concerns and refused to even acknowledge the possibility of working with me on this concern. This puppy was purchased in good faith that it would be in good health just as the seller said. The puppy's illness was not preventable by the buyer (me) because it had the condition at time of purchase.
It appears that the seller has so far been able to successfully navigate around laws that attempt to build minimal care standards for alleged puppy-mills. I am not aware of whether walker abides by USDA licensing requirements or avoids them by selling directly to consumers. Of course, with lack of USDA inspectors and minimal fines, it probably doesn't matter anyway.
The website provided by the seller appears to depict a family oriented establishment which appears to me to be misleading. A reputable agency would have at the very least taken the time to hear a consumer' concerns and would show some grain of empathy and concern for the dog's health. The rigidness of walker's response gives the strong appearance that SAR kennels is not a credible agency.
I would have been more than willing to go in half on the medicine that the dog should have received prior to me purchasing it. I had hoped that walker would have presented herself and this agency in a more professional manner but walker chose otherwise. I certainly would not have agreed to purchase this dog if I had known it was sick and I certainly don't appreciate being treated so shabbily on the phone when I conducted myself in a professional, even-toned manner. I still believe this could have easily been worked out over the phone if I would have just been given the chance.
The dog was sick on the day of purchase. If it was well and got sick later and developed an ear infection later, this would not be an issue to me. My main concern is that this doesn't happen to other customers. This can be avoided by telling the potential buyer if the dog is sick as this dog clearly was.
This way, the potential buyer can make an informed decision. And if things slip through the cracks and a customer does call with concerns, treat the customer with respect on the phone. Situations like this can be easily mitigated if the seller's concerns are the welfare of the puppy and keeping a happy customer, and not just making a fast buck.
I contacted the BBB and attempted to work through this issue but as soon as the BBB stopped their involvement, the seller stopped her dialogue.